"Worry-free back and forth to your favorite event together with Keolis," can be read on the website of Event-Shuttle. The concept is simple: concertgoers can buy a shuttle ticket in addition to an entry ticket. The bus company determines in advance the boarding points and times, among which concertgoers can choose. Event-Shuttle works with virtual lines whose stops are optimally organised. On the day of the event, the bus picks up the passengers and transports them to the location of the event. After the concert, the driver takes the passengers back to the original pick-up point. No more traffic jams and parking stress before and after an event.
Vincent Traen of Event-Shuttle outlines the increase in ticket sales. "The demand for shuttle services has increased significantly and ticket requests continue to pour in," Traen explains. "For Rammstein on 3 and 4 August, our absolute topper this summer, we have already sold over 7000 tickets, about 7% of the total number of people expected. In 2019, there were still 2700. The concerts of The Rolling Stones and Ed Sheeran in Brussels were also a great success. In total we are transporting 16 000 passengers this summer, we are really on the rise."
Due to the high number of requests, bus company Keolis is calling on partners within the coach sector. "Every company in our sector is unfortunately facing a shortage of drivers, so sometimes we really have to do the math. Fortunately, we can count on our partners and they are also flexible, thanks to which we can safely transport thousands of partygoers to and from events."
Win-win for organisation
The introduction of shuttle buses is not only on the rise because of the ease of use for concertgoers, but also for event organisers. "The mobility part takes up a lot of energy and time," Traen adds. "As a transport company, we are part of the solution when it comes to a smooth flow of traffic. Organisers try to discourage car use as much as possible by making parking spaces more expensive and making alternatives attractive. For example, organisers invariably promote our shuttle buses and other modes of transport." The increasing sales figures are especially noticeable at concerts, the change from traditional car transport to group transport is slower in the festival sector and among festival-goers.
Providing efficient group transport reduces the pressure on the environment around the event. "A coach replaces on average 30 cars, sometimes more," says Brend Van Ransbeeck, communication manager of Keolis in Belgium and collaborator of Event-Shuttle. "If you put in 30 buses per event, you can easily remove 900 cars from the car park. Efficient group transport ensures fewer traffic jams, less parking pressure and also less odour and noise pollution for the surrounding area. Nothing but social benefits for both the local residents and the passengers themselves."
Despite the corona pause, the re-launch of the festival season has been all but smooth sailing for Event-Shuttle. "The feedback we get from passengers is positive. There is nothing better than getting on a bus, enjoying the music and then getting home without a care in the world. We are working hard behind the scenes to refine our service and to pick up and drop off concertgoers as close to home as possible. Provided there are good agreements with the event organisers and our drivers, the organisation of our passenger transport is running smoothly," says Van Ransbeeck.
Event-Shuttle - Ed Sheeran @ Heizel, Brussel
Event-Shuttle - Rammstein @ De Nieuwe Koers, Oostende
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